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Forgive the tone of this post. I sat down to write something funny and I don’t actually think it’s funny at all so nothing funny came out. As you all know by now, I was once an active Mormon, and left the church several years ago.

Want to know something sad?

I don’t go to my family’s weddings anymore. Not my cousins. Not even my siblings. At least not if they take place in Mormon temples (which most of them do). Know why?

Because. If I do go, I don’t even get to go. I am asked to sit down with everyone’s children and babysit because I am not considered worthy to go inside and watch the ceremony. And let me tell you how fun that is, hanging out with all the teenage girls and trying to corral three dozen out of control toddlers.

After the wedding takes place, everyone goes outside onto the temple grounds, and I’m finally allowed to be part of the grown-ups. Wedding pictures. Come and pretend like we were all one big happy family at this wedding today. No thank you. If you don’t want me inside, then I’ll come to the wedding reception with everyone else you barely know. I’ll happily skip the wedding photos for a wedding I wasn’t actually invited to.

Mormons and their temples. To them, their temples are sacred and beautiful buildings where God lives and talks to them. It is in their temples that they receive all the rites and passages they need to get to heaven, live with each other for eternity, etc. To me, they’re $40 million+ (often very beautiful) buildings which ultimately tear many families apart. I mean, it seems nice, the whole “eternal family” thing. It really does. But the whole “you can’t come unless you pass our test” thing is a little much. Oh, sorry. God’s test. That’s what they’ll tell you it is.

Urgh. I’m in an ornery mood about this at the moment. I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s because I’ve just had too many friends getting married outside of the church lately, and to their families it was nothing but constant pressure (leading up to it) to get married and finally escape an ongoing life of sexual sin. Maybe it’s because, for some reason, the marriages of too many of my friends have not been celebratory at all simply because they didn’t take place inside of a temple.

That’s just Utah for you. That’s the dominant Mormon culture. There is a cloud of sadness that surrounds many non-temple weddings in many families around here (certainly not all of them, or even most of them). But those who get married in the temple? Well… they are doing it right. Celebrate the heck out of those invitations when they arrive. Make sure your temple recommend is still good! Get work off! Dump the kids on the lesser-worthies! And celebrate the day with your fellow elite!

Do you know how you get into the Mormon temple? I mean, for one you have to be a member of the Mormon church. But you also have to…

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he’s most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It’s an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!